Pritam Singh

SINGAPORE: Amid the year-end festivities, there is an undercurrent of anxiety over housing, Workers’ Party head and Leader of the Opposition Priam Singh wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday (Dec 22).

On the previous night, which happened to be Winter Solstice or the longest night in the year, Mr Singh and a team of volunteers went on house visits.

He wrote that they “wished the night would not end yesterday as many residents – including Zuraini (just back from umrah) and neighbour Johan – were at home.”

Mr Singh added that they fortuitously met on the longest night a pet dog named Mid-Knight, and spent time with a man named Mr Loh, who, while he lives at Marsiling, visits his mother at least once a week, as do his siblings, and they sometimes spend the weekends there.

FB screengrab/ Pritam Singh

“As the year comes to a close, the importance of family was exemplified by Mr Loh,” the WP chief wrote.

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However, the visit was not all lighthearted and fun.

“No housevisits are complete without the anxiety associated with public housing / BTO applications.

While the Government assures Singaporeans that a non-mature flat can be secured by the third attempt as one’s chances increases with each unsuccessful application, the same cannot be said for BTO applications for flats in mature estates.”

FB screengrab/ Pritam Singh

This causes increased anxiety for residents in Bedok who are hoping to secure BTO flats in Tampines, Mr Singh wrote, adding that he wishes Mr and Mrs Ng good luck with their ballot. The couple want to live in Tampines, “a mature estate, so as to be closer to their parents.”

Mr Singh also met with an 84-year-old woman named Cecilia, whom he said was “a joy to speak to” and whom the LO aspires to be like as the years roll by.

FB screengrab/ Pritam Singh

“She has a positive spirit and open-hearted disposition, both of which are so important to navigate the uncertainties of life. As the long night continued, even as housevists ended, I told myself, ‘When I grow up, I want to be like Cecilia,’” he wrote

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